The influential Catholic Church, which is leading a wider movement of anti-abortion laws in Malawi has asked Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa to lobby fellow legislators to reject the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which is expected to be tabled in parliament this week.
Chairperson for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Blantyre Thomas Luke Msusa has also rebuked traditional chiefs in Malawi who are encouraging abortion, saying every life is precious and God-given.
“We’re against this proposed Bill because it will encourage the killing of innocent souls. I want to take this opportunity to request Honourable Nankhumwa who is amongst us here that using his position as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, he lobbies fellow parliamentarians to reject this Bill because it is simply a bad Bill,” said Archbishop Msusa during a funeral mass of Group Village Headman Baluti in Blantyre on Saturday, October 17, 2020.
In an interview with Nyasa Times after the ceremony, Nankhumwa said he had taken note of the Archbishop Msusa’s suggestion. He could not comment further.
The Termination of Pregnancy Bill would allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. Proponents of the Bill say it would prevent up to 12,000 deaths that occur every year due to illegal, unsafe abortions.
During the mass, Archbishop Msusa paid tribute to “one of our devout members”, saying Chief Baluti (Andrew Chikhumbo) devoted his life to serving the Church and his people.
“He lived an exemplary life; a life like that of Jesus where he helped people as much as he could to ease suffering,” said the clergyman.
Nankhumwa said he attended the funeral ceremony of the late Chief Baluti because he personally knew him since the late 1990s through the former MP for the area, Elwin Maluwa.
“I learnt of his death with great sadness. I have known the departed as a selfless leader who pursued the best interests of his subjects. He was a fine leader who loved development,” said Nankhumwa.
Presidential Advisor on Chiefs and former MP for the area, Moses Kunkuyu was also in attendance and hailed the late Chief as development-conscious.
Both Nankhumwa, who is also DPP’s Vice President for the South and Kunkuyu, who is also MCP National Campaign Director, agreed on the importance of unity in diversity as a critical element in the social and economic development of a country.
A large number of DPP members in party regalia accompanied Nankhumwa and a sizeable group of MCP cadres were also in attendance. There seemingly was some political tension at the funeral, prompting the two leaders to make unity remarks.
Chief Baluti was 68 when he died on Thursday, October 15, 2020. He was chief for 21years. He is survived by a wife, 10 children and several grandchildren.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :